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MeliusNet: An Improved Network Architecture for Binary Neural Networks
Binary Neural Networks (BNNs) are neural networks which use binary weights and activations instead of the typical 32-bit floating point values. They have reduced model sizes and allow for efficient inference on mobile or embedded devices with limited power and computational resources. However, the binarization of weights and activations leads to feature maps of lower quality and lower capacity and thus a drop in accuracy compared to their 32-bit counterparts. Previous work has increased the number of channels or used multiple binary bases to alleviate these problems. In this paper, we instead present an architectural approach: MeliusNet. It consists of alternating a DenseBlock, which increases the feature capacity, and our proposed ImprovementBlock, which increases the feature quality. Experiments on the ImageNet dataset demonstrate the superior performance of our MeliusNet over a variety of popular binary architectures with regards to both computation savings and accuracy. Furthermore, BNN models trained with our method can match the accuracy of the popular compact network MobileNet-v1 in terms of model size and number of operations.